Verse 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Yesterday we were talking about how imitating God shows surrender to Him. But is this only something that is done on an individual level? Should there be efforts to surrender to His will as a community?
Today’s passage talks about being careful how we live. Most of us don’t give much thought to how we live, do we? We just live as it happens. How are we to understand what the Lord’s will is? Of course the pat answer is to read the Bible and pray but that isn’t enough and Paul keeps rewording the importance of making the decision to choose how to act and think. This is all part of the act of surrendering to God. If we are surrendered to God we will be thinking about what pleases Him and will be choosing that and acting on it.
It doesn’t mean anything if we just choose to surrender and yet don’t make the conscious effort to seek His will and pleasure and the live out what we know pleases Him. Jesus told the story of a farmer with 2 sons. He asked each of them to work in the vineyard. One said they would and the other denied the request. When it came to actually doing the work the one who had said no actually did the work while his brother didn’t follow through on his word (Matthew 21:28-32). The one who obeyed is the one that was surrendered. Surrender requires obedience and obedience starts with a decision to obey what you know is required.
How does this work in a community situation? What does surrender look like in a church setting? In church meetings we often say we want God’s way but do we put that into action as a body of believers? Do we seek His pleasure or our own? Often a church will plan services around what the majority of the members will enjoy instead of what God is asking for. He wants acting on His desires and that is just as true for a body of believers as it is in an individual’s life.
Paul encourages the singing together. What is this singing about? The three styles listed all are focused on God not man. Isn’t it a joy to worship God together with other believers? How much more so if those are songs of worshipful surrender. Come, let us surrender together.
Making It Personal
Have you ever thought about how your personal surrender should be working into a joint surrender with your church family? What is something you need to surrender about so that there can be joint surrender in your church? What steps are you willing to take to bring unified surrender?
Making It Personal Kids
What are some things that please God? Is it always easy to give up your wants for someone else’s wants? What is something God wants us to surrender about?
Father, please help us to seek Your desires over our own and give us the courage and strength to do what You want us to. May we daily surrender to You and You alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.